Colorado craft brewers are off to a hoppy New Year in 2011 with many new beers on the shelves and the re-release of popular seasonals. In fact, the breweries are cranking out so much stuff, it's hard to keep track. So here's a list of beers you can drink right now and another roster of beers to watch for next week or in the coming weeks. Cheers!
Ten beers to drink right now:
1) Odell Avant Peche A brilliant beer that somehow takes the crazy flavors of wild yeast and blends it perfectly with the rich sweetness of a porter. The peachiness is just barely noticeable, which is good.
2) Dry Dock Seven Seas This beer is making a run for the title of best double IPA being brewed in Colorado right now. And Dry Dock has begun bottling it, along with Vanilla Porter and Hefeweizen, for liquor store distribution.
3) Breckenridge Brewery Pandora's Bock This seasonal beer from Breckenridge Brewing will make you sigh with relief if you have #bigbeerfatigue. Dark in color and full of flavor, it has a light mouthfeel and lower alcohol content.
4) Great Divide Grand Cru Rich and sweet, it's another delicious beer bomb from Great Divide. Ten ounces will probably do ya.
5) Breck 20 Only available on tap at Breckenridge's breweries, Twenty was made to celebrate Breck's twentieth anniversary last year, and it does the place proud.
6) Avery New World Porter Haven't tried it, but I want to.
7) Twisted Pine Reilly's Oak Whiskey Red Haven't tried it, but I've heard good things.
8) Funkwerks Saison Citrusy sweet, but dry, this new Fort Collins brewery plans to brew only Belgian saisons, and it's off to a good start with this classic beer. At the moment, it's difficult to find, but it should be more widely distributed soon.
9) Hops & Pie PA I haven't tried it, but I've heard good things about this house beer, brewed for the pizza joint by Strange Brewing and served two different ways.
10) Oskar Blues Deviant Dale's Hoppy and bitter in a good way, Deviant Dale's is like the older, twisted brother of Dale's Pale Ale. Made with four kinds of hops and dry-hopped with a fifth, it went on tap yesterday and is available only at Old Chicago locations in Colorado -- at least for the next few weeks.
Ten beers to keep your eye out for soon
1) Left Hand TNT weizen dopplebock This German-style beer will be brewed with the smokey Lapsang souchong tea.
2) Avery Margarete A barrel-aged sour cherry stout is the latest in Avery's series of barrel-aged releases; it should be on shelves shortly.
3) Wynkoop Coupler An imperial milk stout made for Valentine's Day, using organic cocoa nibs and ancho chiles, then aged in Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey barrels. Debuts February 4.
4) Odell Friek Available late in February, this will be a sour ale that blends a Kriek with a Framboise.
5) Avery DuganA A seasonal double IPA returns for the second year in February.
6) Breckenridge 72 Imperial This double chocolate cream stout is made with milk and dark chocolate from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Durango. Available on draft only.
7) Silverton Bare Ass Brown While Silverton Brewing has been making this beer for a while, it hasn't been seen on Denver shelves, but a new bottling deal with Fort Collins Brewing should change that.
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8) Left Hand Stranger Pale Ale This beer will replace its Jackman's Pale Ale as a year-round beer.
9) Oskar Blues G'Knight Okay, it's the same fantastically hoppy beer, but Oskar Blues is changing the name so that is doesn't infringe on Gordon Biersch's trademark. The new cans and a re-release party are scheduled for mid-February.
10) New Belgium Le Terroir and Dunkleweiss New Belgium plans to produce eight beers for its stellar Lips of Faith series this year. The first two will be Le Terroir, a dry-hopped sour, and Dunkleweiss, a nine percent ABV dark wheat ale "brewed with spices."